Incorporating physical activity into daily life
Studies show that regular physical activity (PA) can give us tremendous health benefits. Normally, the term “physical activity” is interpreted as sports being done in a full set of sport gear, like running or playing basketball. However, PA is not limited to those activities. In fact, any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that exerts energy expenditure is regarded as physical activity. Therefore, a simple and sustainable way to increase your daily PA level is to make PA a regular habit in your life. Starting from today, enjoy the fun of PA and experience its benefits to health.
How to increase PA in daily life
1. For children:
- Do some stretching exercise before breakfast
- Whenever possible, walk and use the stairs instead of lifts or escalators.
- Help with household chores like making the bed, cleaning up the dining table, or washing up.
- When feeling tired at studies, do stretching exercise to refresh.
- Do activities of a physical nature like playing on swings, playing hide-and-seek and hopscotch in parks or on residential podiums.
- Do extra-curricular activities of a physical nature, such as rope-skipping, dancing, football, basketball, etc. Do remember to avoid prolonged sedentary activities such as playing video games or surfing the internet.
- Do outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, cycling, swimming, etc. over weekends and holidays.
2. For adults:
- Alight from transportation in advance and walk to your destination. Use the stairs instead of lifts or escalators.
- Go for a walk or do some light stretching exercise for relaxation after lunch.
- Stand up or walk on the spot while talking on the phone.
- Walk or go jogging with your children in the evening for better parent-child relationship.
- Schedule with family and friends a timetable for regular exercise like playing badminton or table-tennis. This is for developing personal interests and building up a habit of regular exercise.
- Do outdoor activities over holidays, like walking along easy trails or going for a picnic in the countryside.
3. For the elderly:
- Help with some simple household chores like running errands and cooking meals, so long as physical health conditions allow.
- Do light to moderate exercise in the morning with friends.
- Participate in activities, e.g. picnic and trips organised by community centres or social centres for the elderly .
- Make sure you have physical activity like tai chi and social dance regularly.
An adequate amount of physical activity can greatly promote our health and well-being. However, it is worth noting that people of different age groups need physical activity at different levels. To learn more about the guidelines concerned, please visit the Department of Health’s “For Health We Change